Roberta Ryan (Australia)

Keynote speaker – Landscape Australia Conference 2019

Roberta Ryan is a professor at the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS), and a leading public policy, evaluation and research analyst with over 30 years’ experience. Roberta has extensive expertise in a range of public policy areas including local government, and has worked with and for more than 100 local governments across Australia and internationally.

Specialising in new approaches in the application of research to policy, community engagement and sustainability, social and strategic planning, Roberta was formerly director of the UTS Institute for Public Policy and Governance and the UTS Centre for Local Government, and was previously a partner in a national professional services firm. In her current work she is actively engaged with all levels of government, academia, the private sector and the non-government sector across all major arenas of public policy, with particular experience in planning cities, citizen engagement and sustainability.

Keynote address
Trust in public authorities is at an all-time low and the role of and respect for professional expertise is facing some pretty strong headwinds. Professions are built on notions of defined expertise, through training and certification, seeking to carve out their terrain of specialisation. This talk examines how professions are seen by and interact with publics and considers the tensions that arise between professional and local expertise. Work in and on places requires not just professional expertise but also ways of understanding how places are used, what people who live and work in a place aspire to. Focusing on places I challenge how professions “make places” and what our role is in “creating” public value. Using the lens of public value our roles change and new expertise is need for engaging and design.

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